In the world of cars, there are certain factions you belong too. Much like football. When it comes to German cars, there are three main brands that follow in each other’s footsteps. Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Mercedes personally is a different level, so the two main brands in contention to one another are Audi and BMW and I am an Audi fan. Now, I don’t hate BMW like Man city vs Man United, but there are very few I do like. The BMW M1 is an obvious, as it is genesis for the M cars. The E30 M3 CSL, M4, M2 and the E60 M5 and today is the day I get to experience it!
The reason I have an affinity for the E60 M5 is basically how bland it looks, but underneath, it has enough power to restart a dead planet. From the outside, it shares the same body lines to rest of the E60 range, bar a few flares to the bumpers, skirts and M styling pack you wouldn’t notice it was even there. The interior shares the same simplicity as the outside, minimalist buttons and features built into the dash and simple all black interior. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, why does he like this car then? Well up to this point, the M5 hasn’t been turned on.
Sat in prime position, a simple twist of key sets the beast alive. The steering wheel lowers to your pre-set position, the bolsters of the seat move inwards to your body shape and the heads-up display shows current gear and speed. The BMW iDrive system contains everything you need with the ability control every aspect of the car, including seat adjustments and strength of the gear change. It also features and in built sat-nav, with the directions appearing in your heads-up display. I would say for the size of the M5, which is a very big car, the wheel seems too small. The only other aspect of the interior I don’t like is the boot. It swings up with such speed and velocity, anything resting on it would find itself across the room. Strangely enough, people are drawn to the M5 in a positive manor, unlike what I have previously experienced in Audi’s.
Under the bonnet, it features BMW’s V10, creating 500+bhp with 380+ ftlbs of torque, making it one hell of an autobahn killer. The power delivery is a bit slow to react when in full auto and the gear changes lurch, but all this I think is to do with the way the previous owner set the gearbox up. With limited time on our test drive we didn’t have a chance to have a play. Even though the gearbox wasn’t as slick as we hoped, the overall power was intoxicating. With the right peddle being the loud button, I wouldn’t say the M5 was. However, with an upgraded exhaust the M5 makes a thunderous sound and if it was mine, it would be an upgrade on my list.
The M5 is a very big car, which if you’re not use to can be quite intimidating. Especially as it has much smaller sports wing mirrors, tinted windows all round and deceptively large rear end. To help you manoeuvre, the steering is extremely light and takes minimal turns to full lock. It also features all-round sensors as well with a visual display in the centre console. On the open road the steering is responsive and the body handles corners almost flat with no noticeable body role. Part way through the test drive though we had to stop at local garage as a strange arrow light came on. According to the technician we spoke to, this was the indicators. An extremely expensive option extra, not fitted to most BMW’s.
In conclusion, the M5 is what I had hoped for. It is a well built, understated car, which when the time comes, can shred its mundane appearance to become an absolute weapon. Even though it has all the power under the bonnet, it is a usable car and easy to live with day in and day out. There are certain features that have been added to the M5 which make the car less easy to live with, like most features being pushed into to the iDrive system and having too much control over items such as gearbox. £15k is more than a reasonable price for all of this car, but with all